Aleph: Haunt For Little Blind Fish
King Deluxe

While other eighteen-year-olds are out stealing cars and defacing neighborhoods with graffiti, Siberian producer Aleph hunkers down in his computer lair churning out tripped-out tracks of the kind collected on Haunt For Little Blind Fish. King Deluxe's third release, which takes its inspiration from the Astyanax Mexicanus, an elusive cave fish that, born without eyes, relies on sound and vibration in order to survive, serves up nineteen minutes of twitchy glitch-funk that exudes a vibrancy and playfulness that's equal parts early Kid606 and Flying Lotus, and an arcade-styled headrush (in “Astyanax Mexicanus,” for example) that invites comparisons to the blaze stoked by UK producers like Zomby and Joker—“Under a Layer of Ice,” armed with fluttering casio synths, surging sub-bass, and hammering beats, a good exemplar of Aleph's style. There's a bit of a patchwork quality to the tracks—bits and pieces stitched together to form stark juxtapositions (especially audible during “Some Opium in the Wild Tropics” when the tune shifts into an old-school jazz episode at its close)—that suggests Aleph's working his way towards compositional coherence (something most successfully realized during the closer “Sulfozinum,” whose keyboard melodies even exude a quasi-classical character). Even so, the EP's a captivating ride that's anything but wanting for imagination and ideas, and the cover's a thing of beauty too.

April 2011